Sunday, April 24, 2011

[californiadisasters] Most S.F. Firefighters, Cops Don't Live in City

Most S.F. firefighters, cops don't live in city

That may be, but their oft-used claim that their workers need big paychecks to afford this pricey city doesn't necessarily hold up under scrutiny. You know, the kind of scrutiny that shows the vast majority of them hightailing it out of San Francisco once their shifts are over.

Statistics from the city's Department of Human Resources show only 25 percent of police officers live in the city. Thirty percent live in San Mateo County, 17.5 percent live in Contra Costa County and the rest live scattered around the Bay Area or even outside it.

A third of firefighters live in the city, while 16 percent live in San Mateo County, 11 percent in Sonoma County and 8 percent in Alameda County. Seven percent of them don't live in the Bay Area at all. Tom O'Connor, their union head, said many paramedics hired during a shortage about a decade ago still live in Modesto, Stockton and even the Lake Tahoe area.

Forty-six percent of city workers in other job classifications - most of them paid less than police officers and firefighters - live in the city. We hear from the HR department that the lower you're paid, the more likely you are to live in San Francisco.

Of course, this could matter tremendously after an earthquake, if emergency responders aren't able to make it into the city - especially since many of them would need to drive over a bridge to get here. Despite the city's new law mandating that residents be hired for city-funded construction projects, there's no requirement for where emergency responders must live.


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